America's baby formula shortage continues to grip retail stores across the country.
Citing the latest data from Datasembly, a retail tracking group, 40% of stores in the United States are out of stock with baby formula — compared to just 29% from March.
"Unfortunately, we don't see this slowing down any time soon," Datasembly CEO Ben Reich said in a statement Monday. "Inflation, supply chain shortages, and product recalls have continued to bring volatility to the category, and continues to be one of the most affected products in the market."
The logistics shortage might involve the recent shutdown of a major production facility in Michigan.
Abbott Nutrition, which owns the plant, has become the subject of an FDA and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) investigation, amid reports of contaminated formula potentially being linked to the deaths of two infants.
According to reports, Iowa, Missouri, North Dakota, South Dakota, Tennessee, and Texas are encountering the greatest baby formula shortages, with out-of-stock rates approaching 50%.
Among the metro areas in the above states, San Antonio's out-of-stock rate has mushroomed to 57%. It's 52% for Memphis and Nashville, and 50% for Houston and Des Moines, Iowa.
In all, 26 total states are reporting out-of-stock rates at 40% or higher.
On Sunday (Mother's Day), Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., called for the FDA and Biden administration to take action.
Cotton wrote, via Twitter: "The formula shortage is a national crisis, hitting poor moms and kids the hardest.
"The FDA needs to immediately step up, be transparent, explain how it will get production restarted, and give parents a timeline.
"And the Biden Administration needs to take this seriously."
Brian Dittmeier, senior director of public policy at the National WIC Association, an advocacy group for women, infants, and children, said the formula shortages can be very dangerous.
"Unlike other food recalls, shortages in the infant formula supply affects a major — or even exclusive — source of nutrition for babies," Dittmeier said. "Inadequate nutrition could have long-term health implications for babies."
According to CNBC, Abbott hasn't provided any public updates of the investigations since April 15.
To compensate for the shortage, CVS and Walgreens stores nationwide are reportedly limiting customers to three baby formula products per purchase.
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